When it comes to college, the cost to learn can really stress out seniors to the max and hurt the wallet in the process, but one senior at Black River Falls High School managed to find a way to help lessen both the worrying and the pricetag.

Victoria Mouradian is a senior at Black River Falls High School who enjoys being on varsity dance team and spending time with her friends. She recently won the Herb Kohl Student Initiative Scholarship.

This $10,000 scholarship, which is exclusive to Wisconsin students, recognizes leadership, citizenship, school involvement, community involvement, and academic achievement. The Herb Kohl Student Initiative Scholarship was created to encourage the Wisconsin youth to pursue post-secondary education.

Susan Leadholm, a counselor at Black River Falls High School, said that the high school receives two of these awards each year.

“The Herb Kohl Scholarship is offered to any senior student in the high school,” said Leadholm. “If they’re selected, they win an award.”

She said that in order to be eligible for the scholarship, teachers have to nominate a student (that they feel has a hardship), and then that student is asked to write an essay.

The application process, which Mouradian said was easy, consisted of writing a 500-word essay before a specific deadline. The essay was about her personal hardships and accomplishments. Mouradian found out that she had won about a week after her submission.

“My friends were just like “woah” and my mom cried,” said Mouradian. “I thought that was pretty dramatic.”

“Each year the Kohl Foundation selects 100 different high schools and our school was selected this year,” said Leadholm. “On special years we get an automatic winner, and that’s what Tori won. That application is specifically for students who have overcome some obstacle in their life.”

Leadholm said that the Herb Kohl Student Initiative Scholarship is awarded to students recognized for putting their best feet forward, even when an obstacle stands in their way. According to Leadholm, Mouradian excels in her very challenging classes, which include Advanced Placement U.S. History, Advanced Placement English, Advanced Placement psychology, an advanced health class, human anatomy and numerous online courses.

“She had applied to University of Wisconsin Green Bay and Winona State University, and she was accepted to both,” said Leadholm.

Mouradian said that the scholarship will impact her future, since her first year of college will basically be free, besides room and board. Mouradian said she plans on attending Winona State University in order to pursue her degree in high school teaching. She said she decided to teach high school because she doesn’t do well with children.

“I think I’m going to go into education at Winona, and then after that I think I’m going to join the Peace Corps for two or three years, and then I’m going to start teaching,” said Mouradian.